Blog 05.11.19

The case for being kind on World Kindness Day

Girl in waterproof jacket petting four dogs behind bars

Next Wednesday is World Kindness Day — a global celebration of kindness in all its forms.

Kindness has always been a big part of the DofE. It’s what the Volunteering section’s all about: showing compassion and respect, helping others and doing what you can for your community and the wider world.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of young people do their DofE and volunteer in hundreds of different ways, from tutoring and coaching younger pupils to fundraising and campaigning.

In 2018/19, DofE participants in the UK volunteered for more than 3 million hours, with an estimated equivalent value of more than £13 million. That’s a pretty huge force for good.

But you don’t have to be doing your DofE to make a difference next week. You don’t need to do anything heroic — even a small act of kindness can have a big impact on somebody who’s feeling overwhelmed, sad or alone.

Not only that, but being kind officially makes you (at least a little bit) happier. Researchers have confirmed that being kind to other people can give your own wellbeing a ‘small but significant’ boost.

If you want to do your bit this World Kindness Day, here are a few small ideas to get you started:

Be kind to people

– Send a message to a friend or relative you haven’t spoken to in a while and try to make them smile.
– Treat someone to a surprise cup of tea (or something else they’d like).
– Donate to a food bank when you’re shopping.
– Make time to talk with someone who might be lonely.
– Go through your clothes and belongings and donate to a charity shop.
– Write a thank you letter to someone you’re really grateful to, but never got around to thanking.
– If your bus or train is busy, offer a seat to someone who might need it more.
– Do a favour for someone who’s unwell, like cleaning or doing their shopping.
– Post a positive comment under an article, blog or social media post you’ve enjoyed.

Be kind to the planet

– Switch any newsletters or statements you receive to digital only.
– Look into volunteering with a local conservation group.
– Plant a tree.
– Try not to use any single-use plastic for the day.
– Don’t leave your TV or computer on standby.
– If you can, take public transport or cycle for the day.

Be kind to wildlife

– Donate old towels or blankets to an animal shelter.
– Offer to feed a neighbour’s pet for the day, or take their dog for a walk.
– Plant some bee-attracting flowers.
– See if you can volunteer at your local animal sanctuary.
– Build a bug mansion, bat box or hedgehog home.